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Grand Cru Winter Reserve - Flying Fish Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

222 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 222
Hads: 508
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 20.44%
Wants: 6
Gots: 57 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 09-14-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 222 | Hads: 508
Photo of mooseisloose
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Popping the top I get a very fresh wheaty smell. Some candy, spice and zesty. Pours into the perfect pint with a nice thick foamy head and a slightly cloudy golden color. Taste is sweet upfront with a zesty hoppiness. The taste gets drier in the middle then finishes with a flat sweet bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is spot on. THis is a great holiday winter warmer with lots of zest and fresh flavor.

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Photo of caulfield
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Light golden appearance with a white head

Smell - citrus, yeast, spices

Taste-There is a slightly citrusy taste with a top note of spices (coriander). However, the taste is somewhat light.

Mouth -Light mouth feel. Feels almost like a dubbel. They've nailed the Belgium style.

Overall - I have to be honest, I wanted to like this more than I did. The taste is subtle, but I'd like a Belgium-style with a more substantial flavor. Overall, its not bad, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a clear medium to light gold and produced a half an inch of bubbly white head. It dissipates fast leaving good lacing.
The smell tells of malt, banana, lemon and spice.
Tasting the beer the front is a refreshing fruity hop character, very mild, but present. The banana favor mingles with the winery spices like nutmeg, coriander and spice. The malty backbone is present throughout the tasting. The finish is a warming tingle that is very pleasant.
I am positively surprised by this beer. It was better than expected. Very drinkable medium to light winter warmer. Great job!

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Photo of KTCamm
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Publick House in Chester NJ, in a Sam Adams octoberfest glass.

Pale yellow color with good head of white foam. Lots of lacing. Cloudy. Nose is light fruit, with some hints of spices. Taste is a moth mellow blend, fruitiness blended with a sugary malt. Light hop holds throughout.

Tasty blend, good lunchtime brew.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Las Vegas for 0.99$ on sale

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Lemon/oranges, grains, yeast, coriander/cloves

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lemons/oranges, banana, grains and a bit of yeast. There is also a bit of a clove/coriander spiciness and a bit of vinegar/rust/funk. It ends with a corn syrup and coriander/clove slightly tart aftertaste.

Overall - Pretty good stuff. The scent was nice and the taste had a little bit of a funk that made it interesting. Glad I picked this up and I'd drink it again anytime.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 2 finger thick head on a murky golden with crimson hue body. Excellent head retention and some lacing.

S: Strong belgian yeast, candy, banana and pineapple aroma.

T: caramel, banana, belgian yeast/esters and green apple mostly. bubblegum and corriander notes in the background.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation. semi-dry finish as expected.

Overall: This genre seems to vary quite a bit with some more on the saison side, some on the tripel side and others on the belgian strong ale side. This one is more in the tripel realm by my tastes.

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Photo of KAP1356
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a mixed 6 pack fr Christmas and this was one of the beers. Poured into a Russian River cervoise...

A - Pours a slightly cloudy gold-yellow color with a one finger off-white head that left some nice lacing. The head receded pretty quickly.

S - The aroma is the classic estery notes I've gotten used to in Belgium ales; banana, some green apple and that classic bubblegum aromas. Some slight spice comes through as well with a really solid malty backbone.

T - The flavors are fruity banana, green apple and some more bubblegum. Yeasty with a pale malt backbone. Nothing really outstanding, but nothing terrible either.

M - Lighter bodied beer that has a low carbonation. Slightly dry finish that makes the mouthfeel my favorite part of the beer.

O - Not bad and not great. Was nice to get to try, but I wouldn't rush back to try it again.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - slightly cloudy honey orange with nice initial amount of head.. head quickly disappeared and formed a foamy rim around the glass

S - bready/yeast, citrus, sweet malts, slight smoke tones

T - sweet, wheat, citrus, bready, spices.. there is something really unique about this beer's taste that i really really like i just can't put my tongue on it (pun intended)

M - perfectly carbonated, crisp and refreshing with a sweet yet dry finish

O - not quite sure why this is a winter reserve, i can picture having this beer year round. i like this more than their other belgian style ales.. lots more distinct flavors.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured slightly chilled in flared glass

A: clear, dark yellow; frothy, high head; good carbonation; good lacing
S: yeasty aroma, all Belgian
T: not sweet; strawlike overtones; peach and apple tones dominate; heavy on the yeast and bottle conditioning
M: a bit watery

overall, not bad, quite good actually

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Photo of jayhawk73
2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright orange color with a thin off white head on my snifter glass. Smell is grass, hops, fruit. Not bad, but not nearly as good as the best in the style category. The taste is just not right for this style to me. Yeast, alcohol are added to the nose profile.. but, it's WAY too sweet. Not a fan of the taste. The feel is thin, syrupy, with a little bit of an undercarbonated vibe. Overall, this is fairly mediocre. Probably won't look for this again. Cheers.

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Photo of rwrk42
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: A golden yellow color with a nice foam head that doesn't last too long
Smell: Sweet caramel with a wonderful malty smell. Slight dark fruit aroma
Taste: Very smooth and malty. Nice mouthfeel. Sweet malt flavor and caramel undertones with some dark fruit & spice
Very good....would recommend.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recent bottle from New Jersey drive through. Pours an opaque peachy colour with tiny retained head. Belgian yeast aroma, with malt and fruitiness. Average mouthfeel, tingling mouthfeel. More complex flavour profile as it warmed. Satisfying and drinkable.

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Photo of keanex
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice from a fresh 2011 12 ounce bottle.

A: Clear amber with a thin white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Light slight fruits with a faint smell of spices.

T: Light notes of ripe fruit and light sweetness from the malts, very simple and easy to drink.

M: Full bodied with light fizzy carbonation.

O: Decent seasonal at a decent price ($7.99 a 6 pack). Worth trying once at least.

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Photo of KyleVick4
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pint glass

A: Cloudy with no particulate. Thick head that quickly dissipates and leaves sub-par lacing. Murky honey color is less than appetizing.

S: Spicy smell of coriander/anise. Yeasties in there also but not as strong as the spice.

T: Nothing special here, spiciness hinted by in the nose is present but pretty bland through and through. A very subtle sourness in the aftertaste reduces its drinkability. No hint of the high ABV.

M: Well carbonated and thick, fairly heavy. Fits the style.

O: Meh, I'm not disappointed I bought it, but I'm not thrilled either. Nothing special here.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Smith pint glass. Served chilled.

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow color along with a somewhat dinky half-finger eggshell color head with poor retention, but decent lacing.

S: Has an interesting cross between a phenolic, yeasty, smell of fruity ale esters (bubblegum, apple, banana), spices, and a noble hop aroma. Works decently enough.

T: Opens nicely with a subdued hit of apple, bubblegum, coriander, and banana. The finish, though, falls flat on its face with a withering, murky bitter aftertaste. ABV is hidden well, at least.

M: Somewhat low carbonation for this type of beer. The body is surprisingly light and has a slightly dry finish.

O: Not bad at all, but it doesn't really impress me. Having said that, I'd be willing to give it a second chance if it were served at room temperature. Otherwise, this isn't something I'll purchase in the future.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a translucent to opaque dark goldenrod-orange with a small white head. Nice retention, the remnants last a long time, no real lace.

S: Anise initally, a good amount of pear, estery.

T: Good malt flavour matches with a really interesting pineapple play with yellow apple, pear and white pepper. Nice mix of flavours, well made.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy carbonation, there's just an ease in the body, it's a big beer but never feels like it.

O: This is fantastic American made Belgian style beer. Good complexity and great mouthfeel like the best from Belgium have. I'll be buying this every Christmas as long as it's available.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside De Ranke Père Noël.

A: Clear yellow with one-finger, white, fizzy head that lasted a minute or two. Okay lacing.

S: Belgian yeast and earthy spice.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Toasted biscuit and a tiny bit of spice. Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Not very smooth, but crisp, not dry, and no trace of alcohol.

O: The head and lacing were lacking, but everything else about this ale was pretty good. I liked this slighly better than the Père Noël.

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Photo of larryi86
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Clear golden color with very smell white head.

S- Nice earthy spices, yeast, and bananas, could be strong, but very nice.

T- Follows the nose, again the taste be stronger, but it is nice. Nice malt backbone.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A nice beer at is enjoyable. I feel that if it was made stronger and had more flavor this could be a great beer. I will probably pick this up again.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale in color with no head to speak of. Very little carbonation. This beer looks tired.
Aroma is quite malty with Belgian yeast, spice and light fruitiness. Taste has a nice tropicial fruit taste followed by rich malts and yeast. Smooth but spritzy on the palette with a soft warming alcohol presence during the finish. Finish itself is semi dry.
A good tasting beer which I failed to mention has a sweet aspect too. I think this would be an excellent beer year round.

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Photo of corby112
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a half finger white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lace left behind.

Slightly spicy aroma with a grassy, earthy hop presence, light fruit, alcohol phenol and pale malt. Peppery with some pine needle, apple and pear along with some bread and biscuit. All of these elements come together pretty well creating a pretty complex nose.

Medium bodied with a zesty spice presence that's countered by light fruit, bready yeast and biscuity malt. Some coriander up front followed by hints of apple and pear followed by a strong bread and pale malt character. The bready yeast and malt backbone add fullness to the palate but the ABV is well masked making this beer easy to drink. Not overly complex but a decent beer that's easy to drink.

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Photo of Naugros
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of my knocks on this brewery is that their offerings that come in six-packs (as opposed to bombers) tend to be sub par. Their Exit Series is quite good, which has led me to believe that don't do as good a job when brewing big batches.

I can see that the thought behind this one was excellent, but the execution fell a bit short for me. They bottle-conditioned this but it still wound up pretty sweet, almost cloyingly so.

Honey is a good word to use in this review as that is the color, the smell and the taste. I do appreciate the Belgian yeast aroma and flavor in this, with a trace of banana and some phenols, but the phenols are a bit more than should be and they wind up sitting at the roof of the mouth delivering some "burn" there.

I'm not sure if the yeast they used in the bottle did their job. The carbonation is sort of light (and would have been welcome to cut into the sweetness), the head is nearly non-existent and the sweetness tells me that the attenuation was sort of low, despite the 7.2%. I'd love to test the bottles I got to see if it actually attained that ABV as I didn't sense much alcohol at all in the flavor, mouthfeel or my state of sobriety.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a medium gold color with a 1/2 inch head that falls to an 1/8 inch thick ring around the edge of the glass with some billowy foam bumps across the surface.

S- Has a potent, almost funky brightness to it obviously brought on by the yeast strain. Sweet, fumy, excellent. Some citrus shines through as well.

T- Full, rich yeast in the start that swirls with semi-bitter hop oils and a sweet, biscuity malt finish. It's not as hop forward as a Belgian IPA, but they're definitely around. The spice, yeast and hop combination creates some tasty esters that dance on the palate.

M- Vibrant and prickly on the tongue, with medium-high carbonation that keeps it interesting to drink and provides a full body.

O- A brilliant Belgian-style ale. But I would expect nothing less from FF.

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Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honestly pours and looks like an american adjunct. Transparent and straw in color with a bright white head which fizzes away quickly.

The nose is much nicer on the other hand; classic belgian scents of clove, banana, bubblegum and raisins. Nice spicy clove flavor up front with a candied belgian fruitiness on the back end. Slight alcoholic warming sensation on the swallow but pretty clean and dry as well. Not nearly as bad as I thought it would.

I wouldnt consider it a true belgian strong pale ale, but it's flavors are there even though they are subtle and it's very welcoming to the newbie craft brew drinker. A surprising find and something i'd recommend to the newbie craft drinkers at my store.

why this is associated with winter? idk. It's light enough to drink any time

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Photo of Hophead717
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: A straw gold color, with virtually no head or lacing whatsoever.

S: The nose is a mix of Belgian yeast and light winter spices.

T: A really light and crisp flavor. Perfect balance between Belgian yeast and spices-namely nutmeg with hints of cloves. Winter brews are generally not my favorite, but this one was really light and generally great. Not what I'd expect from a winter seasonal!

M: Fairly light with a comfortable amount of carbonation.

O: A solid winter offering for those who do not want to be totally assaulted by a winter lager. Not one I'd seek out, but definitely one I'd enjoy seeing at my hometown dive bar (which generally has the worst beer selection ever).

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Photo of mcb4538
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden color with very little head, which dissipates quickly. A lot of carbonation present. Smells mainly of cloves. Light in taste. The cloves are very faint on the palate. To be fair, it was a light mouthfeel for a semi-high ABV. Overall, nothing too offensive but also not too rememberable. 

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Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.